Onwurah – the MP for Newcastle Central – has been trying to engage with Ashley for years in a bid to discuss his running of the club, and she finally got her chance last weekend – with Ashley ‘inviting’ her for a chat before Saturday’s 3-0 win over Cardiff ahead of his return to the scene at St James’ Park.
After speaking with The Times’ George Caulkin, here’s what she had to say about her meeting with Ashley and his ‘entourage’ last weekend:
“We disagreed strongly. He didn’t convince me. Most worrying, in my view, is that he has no intention of investing significantly into the club. He said to me at one point, ‘Would you put all your money into it?’
“But this isn’t just any company, it’s a huge part of our city. I would have recognised I was buying a cultural asset that required investment. One of his people said, ‘But he has invested.’ Buying the club wasn’t investment, it was buying something. Giving the club loans isn’t investment.
“Mr Ashley said the club can only spend what it generates but, as I’ll say in the debate, that is a form of austerity economics — a club needs investment to reach its potential.”
“We want a club that is looking upwards and outwards and is trying, going for something, not just dancing around the relegation zone. When there’s no investment and no vision, it’s soul-destroying.”
“I get so many letters and emails from fans saying they’re seriously looking at cancelling their season tickets and I just know what it means to people. They shouldn’t have to choose between their love and making a point to Mike Ashley.”
“Owning Newcastle without investment, I want to make that painful for Mike Ashley,”
Some brilliant words here from Chi, someone who’s clearly passionate about her city, the community and our club, however it’s absolutely damning to hear what she’s had to say about her meeting with Ashley.
Ashley appears to have said that the club ‘can only spend what it generates’, but he’s not even giving us that. Where’s the Mitrovic and Merino money? Where’s the money from last season’s TV deals?
What’s even more infuriating is Chi saying that one of his cronies pitched in with ‘but he has invested’, with Ashley himself believed to have said ‘would you put all your money into it?’.
Mike, we’re not even asking you to plough hundreds of millions of your own money into the club, we just demand that you give Benitez the money the CLUB raises. There’s a BIG difference.
This is a man who believes in his own lies – and that’s dangerous. He’s not ‘running’ our club, he’s letting it rot into the ground.